The idea of a pseudonym had been flitting around my brain for a long time, along with its cognate, disappearance. In the 1980s, I published some poems under a pen name in a literary magazine to see what it would feel like. It was fun. It was even a little thrilling.
When I began to be published, people got the idea that I should ‘teach writing,’ which I have no idea how to do and don’t really believe in.
However, I began to submit poems to British magazines, and some were accepted. It was a great moment to see my first poems published. It felt like entering a tradition.
I have published a proclamation: ‘Forgive us our transgressions as we forgive those who transgress against us.’ I have ordered all citizens to return to their parishes to enjoy the benefits of this general amnesty.
During my last voyage to America, I enjoyed the happiness of seeing that revolution completed, and, thinking of the one that would probably occur in France, I said in a speech to Congress, published everywhere except in the ‘French Gazette,’ ‘May this revolution serve as a lesson to oppressors and as an example to the oppressed!’
Once a discovery has been published, there is no way of un-publishing it.
That’s a wonderful change that’s taken place, and so most poetry today is published, if not directly by the person, certainly by the enterprise of the poet himself, working with his friends.
Poets yearn, of course, to be published, read, and understood, but they do little, if anything, to set themselves above the common herd and the daily grind.
When a new book is published, read an old one.
When I began, poetry was very academic. You published little pamphlets from fancy presses. It was rather… chaste. There wasn’t much public reading. Then there was poetry and jazz, which I don’t think worked, though I love jazz.